Guam Submariners Host Armed Services Blood Drive
Service members, Department of Defense (DoD) civilians, contractors and family members from ships and submarines stationed on Guam celebrated Halloween by giving donations during a mobile blood drive hosted at Polaris Point, October 30.
Commander, Submarine Squadron (COMSUBRON) 15 partnered with the Armed Services Blood Program (ASBP) to host the drive at the COMSUBRON 15 headquarters building.
“I was excited to coordinate another blood drive for the Sailors stationed at Polaris Point,” said Fire Control Technician 2nd Class Elbert Robinson, who is assigned to the COMSUBRON 15 medical department and organized the event. “Our building is centrally located, so it’s easy for everyone to come by and give blood.”
Robinson encourages his shipmates to support blood drives because of his passion for helping others and the squadron’s affiliation with the Guam-homeported submarines and submarine tenders. This is the second blood drive Robinson has organized at COMSUBRON 15, and he looks forward to hosting future events.
“I am definitely going to plan another blood drive next year,” said Robinson. “Each donation supports a great cause, as donations to the ASBP go directly to other service members and their families. Donating blood is underrated, but it’s invaluable to those on the receiving end.”
Each volunteer completed a brief questionnaire then waited for their turn with the ASBP phlebotomy staff from U.S. Naval Hospital Guam.
“I try to donate blood as often as I can,” said Yeoman (Submarines) 2nd Class Devarious Carver. “Each donation makes a real impact, and it’s incredible to think your actions can save a life!”
Carver was one of 16 volunteers who donated blood during the mobile drive at COMSUBRON 15, during which ASBP Guam received a donation of 12 complete units. The mobile blood drive serves as a vital lifeline to the ASBP, and with the help of commands like COMSUBRON 15, more than 1.5 million units of blood has been transfused on the battlefield since the programs inception.
“We thought it would be a fun way to celebrate Halloween, saying “Ve vant your blood” like a vampire would,” said Robinson. “It was a cute way to encourage everyone to donate for a good cause. The Sailors at COMSUBRON 15 understand that every drop counts and make a great effort to contribute.”
In addition to weekly mobile blood drives, U.S. Naval Hospital (USNH) Guam also conducts apheresis (ABC) donations on site, which is the process of giving only the components of blood needed for patients that day. Instead of donating a pint of blood as a whole, the ABC donor’s blood is run through a machine that separates the components of their blood; the parts not needed for patients are immediately returned to the donor during the donation.
"I handle the daily tasks associated with running the donor center at USNH Guam as the leading petty officer of the blood donation center,” said Hospital Corpsman 3rd Class Randall Johnson. “Our most important task is to maintain our blood inventory. Without sites like COMSUBRON 15, supporting our mission on Guam and throughout the Indo-Pacific would be impossible."
The ASBP has served as the official military provider of blood products to the U.S. armed forces since 1962. They collect, process, store and distribute blood and blood products such as packed red blood cells, platelets and frozen plasma to Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen, Marines and their families worldwide in peace and war.
COMSUBRON 15 teamed up with ASBP to host a blood drive in 2017 and 2018. They plan to host more in the future in hopes of encouraging maximum participation to help fellow service members. In addition to those that regularly give, those who have rare blood types and new check-ins are encouraged to participate. In total there are more than 20 ASBP donation centers between Army, Navy and Air Force facilities worldwide.
To donate blood at the next drive near you, visit the ASBP site at https://www.militarydonor.com/ or contact you nearest military medical treatment facility.
COMSUBRON 15 is located at Polaris Point, Naval Base Guam in Apra Harbor, Guam, and consists of four Los Angeles-class attack submarines. The squadron staff is responsible for providing training, material and personnel readiness support to these commands. Also based out of Naval Base Guam are submarine tenders USS Frank Cable (AS 40) and USS Emory S. Land (AS 39). The submarines and tenders are maintained as part of the U.S. Navy's forward-deployed submarine force and are readily capable of meeting global operational requirements.
For more news from Commander, Submarine Squadron 15, visit our official CSS-15 website at http://www.csp.navy.mil/css15 and our official Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/SubmarineSquadron15/.
Are you interested in taking orders to Guam? Want to learn more about the duty station and life on our island? For more information, check out the ‘Go Guam!’ website at http://www.csp.navy.mil/go-guam/ and download the ‘1st Fifteen’ checklist.